A pane of glass was shattered Monday evening at the New England Holocaust Memorial, the second time in less than two months the memorial was vandalised.
One person, a 17-year-old juvenile male, is in custody for the alleged vandalism, a spokesman with the Boston Police Department told JTA.
Two passersby tackled the alleged suspect and held him until police arrived, according to the Boston Globe, which also reported that the police are investigating whether this was a hate crime.
A visitor to the memorial, located along Boston’s historic Freedom Trail, told the Boston Globe he heard the sound of glass shattering as he was reading panels at the memorial and later saw police make an arrest.
“It’s a reminder that we as a community need to be united, both in our opposition to all forms of hate but also in the important role that memorials play in our community,” Robert Trestan told the Globe.
Trestan, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, said it was a second blow to the community. “It comes at a time when most of Boston is standing in solidarity [against] the hatred that we saw in Charlottesville over the weekend,” he said.
Just watched a a man run away after smashing Boston's Holocaust Memorial with a rock. These acts of hatred are everywhere. We must resist. pic.twitter.com/nDGpnynFM5
— Natalia Pfeifer (@talipfeifer) August 14, 2017
In a post on Twitter, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said Boston stands up against hate. “I’m saddened to see such a despicable action in this great city.”
The 22-year-old memorial was recently repaired and rededicated following the earlier vandalism in which one pane of glass was shattered, the first time it was struck by vandalism, allegedly by a 21-year-old man with a history of mental illness. The six-towered memorial, designed by architect Stanley Saitowitz, features 132 panels of glass etched with 7-digit numbers symbolising the numbers tattooed on the arms of Jews during the Holocaust.
Speaking at the July 11 rededication, Israel Arbeiter, a prominent 92-year-old Boston-area Holocaust survivor, said the public ceremony brought a sense of renewal.
“The horrible suffering that we, the survivors, endured in concentration camps cannot be forgotten,” Arbeiter said. “When we repeatedly say ‘remember,’ we turn first of all to the world around us,” Arbeiter said at the ceremony, attended by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, as well as leaders of the Jewish community and other faith and civic groups.